Apple's next free iOS update is out, here's what it adds (and takes away)

Apple giveth, Apple taketh away

iPhone 15
(Image credit: Future)

iPhone users on the cutting edge are used to a constant stream of updates as Apple improves its iOS operating system. Believe it or not, we are up to iOS 17 now, and the fourth beta of iOS 17.2. It's safe to say Apple this latest update is just making some finer (but still welcome) tweaks to the user experience, but there is one noticeable feature that has been disengaged (more on that in a minute).

First, the good news. You can now change the default notification on your iPhone. That sentence sounds boring but is actually a big deal. That ping or buzz that controls your life? Yeah, you can change that now. Customisable ringtones have been around for decades but this goes beyond that. 

Under the "Sounds & haptics" settings menu there's a new "Default alerts" option that allows you to select a different sound for all notifications that you couldn't already customise (texts, mail alerts, and calendar alerts are all individually changeable).  You can also change the haptic feedback similarly. Pretty nifty.

In terms of other changes, there's not much to dwell on, a few new alert messages and renaming of settings, but this beta does actually remove a cool feature Apple had only just added. 

How to save money on Apple Music, music app subscription deals, streaming service deals

(Image credit: Brett Jordan / Pexels)

iOS 17.2's first three betas featured a new Apple Music feature called Collaborative Playlists that allowed listeners to contribute to a playlist together with friends and family. It's similar to features on the likes of Spotify, but still a neat addition right? 

Well, it seems that it's not quite ready for the world because Apple has actually removed the feature with this latest beta. Apple Music fans will have to go back to moody introspective playlists that will never meet another person's ears again. At least until they reinstate the feature, perhaps not in time for iOS 17.2 but the next major update instead. 

This is in fairness exactly what betas are for, to test features and hone them. So don't be too quick to judge. Apple has been plenty busy this year with the iPhone 15, and we're sure the upcoming Vision Pro is keeping its hands full. 

Andy Sansom
Staff Writer

Andy is T3's Tech Staff Writer, covering all things technology, including his biggest passions such as gaming, AI, phones, and basically anything cool and expensive he can get his hands on. If he had to save one possession from a fire it would be his PlayStation 5. He previously worked for Tom’s Guide - where he got paid to play with ChatGPT every day. When it comes to streaming, Andy will have his headphones glued in whilst watching something that will make him laugh. He studied Creative Writing at university, but also enjoys supporting his favourite football team (Liverpool), watching F1, teaching himself guitar, and spending time with his dog.